tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 23, 2013 8:00am-10:01am EDT
we have interests in the region that mandated government to government dealings. but, we understand fully the failures of that government. we understand fully some of the deep-rooted feelings with respect to the brotherhood in that region and i think the united states is perfectly capable of making distinctions between its own philosophical groundings and values the necessity to government to
government do things with respect to security, peace process, sinai, and other issues of national consequence to us. on the middle east peace saudi arabia has been a critical partner. just yesterday we reaffirmed the saudi commitment, the saudi commitment to its own initiative a very significant initiative and i praised prince saud's description of the, of his vision and the saudi vision for the peace that waits for israel providing we can move the process which they are committed to and very much a part of that we can move that forward. they are a partner in that effort through their role in the arab league as well as their authorship of the arab peace initiative. in addition we both share,
saudi arabia and the united states share with almost every other country in the region deep concern about iran's nuclear program. and its impact on the region. and we had a very frank conversation yesterday about that and i think they understand exactly what the united states is engaged in and i reaffirmed president obama's commitment to he -- that he will not allow iran to have a nuclear weapon and i reiterated our position in any negotiation that our eyes are wide open, actions are what will speak to us, not words, and no deal is better than a bad deal. so i think there's a clear understanding in our relationship boeing forward and i have great confidence that the united states and saudi arabia will continue to be the close and important friends and allies
that we've been. >> final question is from mina alarabi. secretary kerry i want to ask you about the, once it is agreement on this it is meant toe have full executive powers but would be possible for president to remain and as he spoke about repeatedly. the communique said this would not be open-ended process. can you see a time frame for it? i ask you about iran. since your meeting with foreign minister zuri have you seen the iranians be more constructive with respect to syria? >> with respect to syria? syria was not a topic of our conversation. the topic of our conversation was their nuclear program so -- >> [inaudible] >> we have not seen a significant change in that period of time with respect to syria and needless to say it
would certainly be welcome and it would be a very important sign with respect to good faith in terms of resolving the regional issues and showing a desire to have stability over business as usual. so we would certainly welcome it but it was not a topic of the conversation and i want to stress that. we were uniquely talking about how we would proceed with respect to the nuclear negotiations. with respect to assad and the time frame, it means what it says. the language is very clear. the language says that there, you know, should be no delay in this process. that this will not be open-ended and that it ought to, if you're acting in good faith, be able to
be completed in, you know, within months, within, some period of months. now that gives you a time frame. and, you know, i think that it would be wrong to prejudge what that is. we will know if they're serious very quickly. it's not hard to show you're serious about settings up a transitional government and i think very early on we'll be able to see if people are offering up real people who have real capacity to do it, who could legitimately be acceptable to both sides rather than offering up people who have blood on their hands, who are a mere continue ages of the assad regime itself. so this will not be hard to discern. and finally with respect to assad himself and his continuance the question you asked, that is for the parties to negotiate. that's not for us to predetermine. the key is that you have full
executive authority that is transferred. that means you're not, you know, playing games and someone isn't pulling the strings from behind the scenes and the people who are there are legitimately moving for all syrians to protect all syrians and send a message about a fair, free, transparent, accountable, accessible election for everybody to be able to choose the future of syria. that's the standard. and within that standard the parties will have to decide. it is not ours, our decision to make. you have two sides negotiating. others will be there but this will be, you know, negotiated by the opposition, represented by one delegation, by the syrian opposition, who will bring others in with them but one delegation on each side and they will make that decision. >> thank you everyone. >> thank you all very much. good to be with you.
thank you. >> we're covering two house hearings on c-span2 today. the first is the house energy and commerce subcommittee hearing on wire countless communications networks. telecom executives will talk about how advancement in communications technology will affect consumers and the economy. that is at 10:30 a.m. eastern. at 2:00 p.m. eastern a house ways and means subcommittee hearing on sex trafficking involving children in the foster care system. witnesses include antisex trafficking activists and members of congress who propose legislation to address the problem. watch live coverage of both hearings on c-span2 and c-span.org.
>> the center for global interests host ad discussion about u.s.-russia relations with a panel that included russian ambassador sergei kislyak and former u.s. diplomats. they also discussed syria's civil war and iran and north korea's nuclear programs. this is just under two hours. >> this is too much. hi. i'm president of the center of global interests. when think tank here in d.c.
we put ourselves together a few months ago and i know some of you were at our luncheon events. so i see familiar faces. i welcome you here. i'm very happy to see all of you and today i hope you will have a very interesting, nice and deep discussion on u.s.-russian relations and we have three extremely, well-known, extremely distinguished russian and american diplomats. which is i think in a way is a rare situation because usually here in washington, usually i hear russian position about russian position from american experts. now we have a chance to hear maybe from the guy who knows this first-hand what the russian
position on so many issues on u.s.-russia relations. we can see and hear and we can question if you want the position on foreign policy, russian foreign policy and policy towards the united states from the russian ambassador himself. and we have two very well-known, i don't need to introduce them, you have bios but everybody knows ambassador pickering and ambassador pifer. i'm sure who have interest in discussions. we'll try to make it as informal as possible. so it is my sense not like a formal event. we'll have five, seven minutes for each of you to speak. then you can ask if you want each other questions, i'm sure you ask questions each other many, many times if you like. but still we have the microphones. we have two microphones here in
the room. we have c-span filming this event so if you want to ask a question you have to come to those microphones so your questions will be recorded by c-span. so adjust your seats, if you would like to ask a question, adjust your seats now and you have time to be closer to the microphone, otherwise you will have to go through some people and stay in line. so what is going on in u.s.-russia relations? i won't be quiet role today. play a role on political experts. i think we all enjoy, always drama in u.s.-russia relations. we need the drama in the u.s.-russia relations and when there is no drama we try to find one. like interest in long time game two countries played and enjoyed and when there's drama there is raised interest between
u.s.-russia relations but if you look on realities, what's going on between two countries i think, think what a contradiction. in the last few months we've had so many news about this relations. president obama counselor visit. we have g8 in moscow. g20 in moscow. and syria, we scratch our head and what is going on there and u.s.-russia relations how that will be affected. trade balance, missile defense discussion, so many speculations, so many rumors and i would like to put some of them in order without typical for washington, media washington, media dramatization. let's talk business. so what's the state of
u.s.-russia relations, view from moscow, view from moscow political elite, russian political elite and i would ask sergei to try to have a viewpoints and we'll have discussion later, to kind of from later. thank you. >> thank you, nikolai. it is my big pleasure and to welcome the center on global interests and your guests from the russian embassy. we had a discussion with nikolai long ago the way his think tank is developing and he was telling me there were a lot of youngsters who are interested in russian-american relations and he challenged me to talk to the younger generation now, people interested in this relations. i thought it would be not only useful, i thought it would be very challenging and interesting for all of us.
>> i think i'm a youngster. >> you're more mature than i expected but it is not bad because maturity can bring additional actions and limelight to the issues that we are going to discuss. >> that is not the typical role for u.s.-russia discussions. >> second, i wanted to extend a special welcome to my colleagues, ambassador pickering and ambassador pifer with whom we have worked in different settings so many years trying to resolve issues that still being discussed and still mature from being resolved. and i would like to limit myself to a number of points. basically three about russian-american relations and i hope in further discussions we will develop them.
my first point is that irrespective of what is written about russian-american relations today and i will tell you, that i start each and every day, my working day reading file of clippings from american press in russia and it is one of the most distressful reading one can find. as one friend of mine from the press told me that good news about russia doesn't sell in this country. that is probably it's true but i would say that the quality of these relations however the experience sometimes, tensions and electricity but by and large it is much better and much more substantial than it is usually portrayed. and i would like to remind you that the cold war is over, at least it is over for us. we have been living in a new
setting where the challenges, especially in the realm of security, are very much the same to you and to us. it is terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. it is economic challenges of cites seasoned we go from one crisis to another trying to bring the world economy out of it together. we also working on a number prove projects and syria being one of them. i hope we will not only limit ourselves of working together on chemical weapons in syria which is very unprecedented kind of partnership and cooperation but also we are working on the next stage and that is political settlement for syria and i'm very much encouraged in seeing how well we are able to discuss issues in which six months, 12 months ago, we were far, far apart. doesn't mean that we have the
same positions on each and every issue. in syrian settlement. what is important that both russia and the united states understand that the only solution that can be found for this situation needs to be negotiated one. nothing else will work. and that was basis for us to start working together and it is not certainly a done deal and it is going to be very, very difficult process. we all understand it. but nevertheless we worked very, very diligently, two of us, to help to resolve this issue. we are working on a number of regional proliferation issues like removing the questions about the nature of iranian nuclear program, the situation in north korea. we work in more general terms in the context of the non-proliferation treaty trying to reinforce the regime that we,
we together, with the brits laid early on were able to set in motion almost 30 years ago. i would add to this a couple of new things maybe not news but very important in the current characteristic. even on the backdrop of some differences that we used to have during months of discussion we did participate in joint exercises of our military to combat terrorist threats. they were not just usual exercise. it was air force training together over the pacific to be prepared in case we need to work together. it's important and there are a number of small elements that fall into place giving us a
better picture of what russia and the united states can do together. my second point is that after more than 20 years after the end of the cold war this relations are still underdeveloped. if you consider the potential of relations between these two superpowers, nuclear superpowers and countries with huge economic potentials you have much more developed economy than we so far but our capabilities in the future are certainly much bigger and stronger than we have been able to develop so far. so the opportunities for both economically, politically, are much, much greater than we have been able to explore so far. i would add to this that we, we can be congratulated that the
trade was, rising bit by bit over the last five to six years but not too fast. and in the last year it even dropped a little bit. this year most probably it is not going to be higher than it was the year before, if not even a little bit smaller. and that's discouraging. we could have done much, much better. certainly a good question as to why everybody recognizes that the potential is huge. the u.s. has some technologies that certainly has a good market in russia. by the way i heard today interview by the president of ford company, and i didn't know that, they're building a third assembly facility in russia because they consider that for them the russian market is very, very important one, becoming one of the biggest in europe which
most probably is true and it's something that we certainly welcome. it is not only additional good cars that will be running on the refresh your recollection shun streets. it is jobs. it's taxes. it's something that needs to be expanded in future. i would also say that there are a number of russian companies who have invested in the united states. some of them are being very, very successful. i will bring the case of tmk. they produce all kind of industrial tubes, helping by the way the to sell gas technology and becoming i think today number one in the field because of the capacity in russia and capacity in the united states. so we see good examples of economic partnership but if you ask my whether i'm the satisfied
with the level of interaction between russia and the united states i would say no. 40 billion for economies like yours and ours is almost nothing. it's more than, it is less than several percent of foreign trade which doesn't put the united states for us among the biggest economic partners and by the same token russia is not your deepest economic partner either. however the capability to develop our capacity to develop this trade ties enormously high. on top of that i would say that we are lacking interaction between the societies of our countries. we certainly would like to see more dialogue between the legislatures of both countries because when people talk, when they explain themselves, when they explain what they do, and i always underline, when they explain what they do not do, the
elections getting healthier and a little -- and my third point that is related to both first around the second one is that is probably what we are missing after the more than 20 years of the cold war was over is a little bit of normalcy. in our relations. nikolai was absolutely right starting the discussion, suggesting that everybody's looking for drama in our relations. on each and every issue where there is no basis or no, no reason for any drama because we do a lot of things together, because, it serves your interest and it serves russian interests. so, less of drama and more normalcy certainly won't bring a different environment or direction and can help both economic relations and extended
political relationships as well. so i would say that among the priorities that we want to look into in the future is the economy, relation, culture exchanges and i would add to this, talking to this audience, to the exchanges as well, we would like to see more american youngsters being in russia and seeing for themselves what russia is and what russia is not and by the same token certainly russian students coming here would learn from americans better. so i would sum up what i wanted to convey to you as three points. one, we do significantly more together than general wisdom gives us credit for. secondly the potential for our relations is much, much greater and these relations are yet to be further developed.
that certainly would eliminate the cause of drama and overexaggeration of the differences that we have and differences will certainly remain a part of our relations and they remain in relations between all countries. it is normal. what is important that we need to be able and so far we haven't been quite successful in that, to overcome them and move further when, and to develop partnership when it serves interests of both countries. and somewhat more normalcy will have both. thank you. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. we'll talk about relations with mr. ambassador later and i want to give a chance to talk for mr. pickering. >> first, sergey, very much for your warm hospitality and having us here. thank you, nikolai, for the
invitation to come and thank you, steve for joining on this particularly, i think useful and important platform. let me first compliment you, nikolai, on the youth of the audience. i certainly sat here and thought that their combined ages divided into ours would almost produce a negative number but if anybody knows math you can't produce a negative number with two positive integers. but in any event it is a way of expressing my appreciation for the people you brought and indeed for the interests i see around the room and for the opportunity to set out for them a view of the relationship which is in my view not too widely different. i agree with sergei very much on his first point. a critic said wagner's music is a lot better than it sound. to some extent that applies to the u.s. russian relationship,
particularly with the benefit of your early morning reading which the absolute axiom is there is never any positive publishable news coming out of u.s.-russia relationship. to some extent i think that is too bad and i think we need to recover that. your second point is very much along that line and i wanted a few minutes to talk about some of the opportunities particularly in the middle east and i know steve will talk about some of the opportunities in the areas of arms control and disarmment and beyond perhaps. my own sense the trade relationship leaves much to be desired. i happen to have been involved in my post-government life and i had one, with the boeing company which did a great deal of work and still does a great deal of work in russia including a, an airplane design shop in moscow where 1500 excellent russian engineers, about 30% of them women, help in design of boeing airplanes and where our
relationship in the field of titanium in particular is very strong and indeed no boeing airplane today flies without russian titanium, without russian design and indeed without some russian innovation. just to mention one, when the 777 airplane was being built we had an option of having four four-wheel landing gears or two six-wheels. we happened to notice on one of the tupelov airplanes a six-wheel landing gear. so we copied your technology. in fact we got the main beam in that landing gear from you in titanium. and when it came down time to test the landing gear you offered us your facilities and we did. and when it came time to fly the airplane and the landing gear weeked, you said you knew how to take the squeak out.
in fact we had a very close collaboration in a modern airplane. i also as you know happen to be on the board of the pipe company you mentioned until last year which has 11 plants in the u.s. and 11 plants in russia. and it is the largest producer of pipe year in and year out and which has played a huge role as sergei said in developing the oil type business in the united states. let me also say i think there is a broad future for our relationship. my sense of what can drive the relationship is the opportunity we have from time to time to find win-win approaches, win-win strategies, win-win opportunities and the reset, the last i think area of positive development was based on a win-win. we now have syria in an very interesting way, potentially
opening the door to new cooperation. indeed it already has. i think in many ways opened the door to the process of in fact, destroying president assad's chemical weapons in a way that i think can contribute very seriously to more stability in the area. i suspect that both of us have been worried for the last two years about the potential for the use of those weapons and indeed the serious impact they might have in a broad and general way first on the people of syria and when they were used on the 21st of august, that brought the issue to a head but what was clearly surprising was the fact that within the space of 24 hours a proposal was made which was in seeming a throw away line by the secretary of state who was asked, what would it take not to use force on syria? he said, well obviously get rid of all their chemical weapons
that would be a different ballgame. within hours minister lavrov came back and he happened to do it. i don't know whether this was prelan planned, you don't have to, he had the foreign minister of syria sitting with him practically on his knee and sure enough walid, within a few hours said, yeah we're going along with this. so here we had a deal but it meant that secretary kerry and foreign minister lavrov were able i think fairly quickly to put together to the astonishment of many people a set of ideas which formed a u.n. resolution which is now being implemented. to me this opens the door to a number of opportunities. i will just quickly sketch them out. certainly we have worked together, and steve might mention this, in cooperative threat reduction on cooperation in the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles and that experience i think can parlay itself into some very useful technical cooperation in this
process. i think the u.s. would probably not want to send people to syria. the president said no boots on the ground although this is different than the use of military force in an attack mode but nevertheless it might be but i think that we should cooperate to the greatest extent possible in our common technical approach to that area. secondly if it is necessary, and i believe in some case it is may be, particularly if some weapons are going to be transported out of syria for destruction, that we have a cease-fire of some kind. my own view is that a cease-fire is a an important step if it can be implemented and maintained. it is indeed a significant step that in some ways segued into a political process in dealing with the future of syria. we also now know that there will be talks in geneva. meetings just ended in london to convince the opposition to attend. i'm not sure they have been entirely successful but at least
is some positive noise coming out of that. in those meetings in geneva, they will have to address a number of issues. my view is of course that it is difficult to conceive of geneva meetings taking place with preconditions as much as one side wants to have preconditions. you can't condition attendance at a meeting to settle a problem by requiring that the problem be settled in advance. as much as that is to be desired. secondly, i think there is another perhaps political, diplomatic, activity at work in geneva that we lead to look at very clearly. up until now the idea has been that nothing can be agreed until everything can be agreed. that is a perfectly formal diplomatic idea but in syria where 6,000 people are being killed a month the hope is that an early sees fire arrangement could begin to introduce a note, put it this way, humanity,
ragnalty, xolairty about the process. so linkage, holding up any agreement until everything is agreed seems to me also to be something of preposterous requirement. i think all the parties need to be there. my own view is that they should move quickly to some kind of sees fire and then deal with -- cease-fire and deal with the question that is always out there and how and what way to form a new syrian government. there are a number of ideas that are out there. i won't bore you with them at this stage and i think there are things that can be done to be important. and secondly, sergei, i will touch this briefly, you mentioned non-proliferation and particularly iran and particularly the dprk. i wish i could say russian-american genius produced magical ideas how to deal with the dprk. my own view that's a very tough and very difficult problem. we'll have to use the chinese to
help us work some magic on that. better news is the chinese are getting now frustrated with the dprk and its many changes of position and maybe this will help and i think the three of us together along with japan and the republic of korea could probably do a little better job in the future if we found ways to see more eye-to-eye. on iran we had a remarkable change too almost in parallel with the syrian change with the election of president roh hahn any they had meet as week ago in geneva. appears if the iranians are somewhat more forthcoming what they put on the table and more for the coming in their willing to discuss areas of problems and uncertainties. we've been warned by our russian colleague not to expect magical happenings in a very short period of time. i think that's probably wise. i think it is also unwise to
ignore the fact that we're on the cusp of change and that will require from the p 5 plus one who were negotiating with iran including russia and the united states willingness to face up to some of the tough challenges that compromises will have to be made on their side as well. whether in fact a deal can go ahead with a freeze or cutoff of enrichment in my view is a highly problematic issue and i think highly unlikely but nevertheless there are still divided opinions in the p5 plus one over that. but even more our country will have to segue from using sanctions as a pressure tactic to achieve an objective. hopefully it was to get negotiations going, to using sanctions as a trading, as trading material to get a good agreement and that isn't easy. it isn't easy to get people's minds particularly up on capitol
hill around that segue given all the suspicions of iran and i think that here my sense is that the u.s.-russian positions remain very close. and that we are in many ways a closer today to achieving what that closeness of position can produce than we have been for some time and i think that's also a good sign. and that may well allow us to take common interests, common objectives, potential for win-win into further afield and i will leave it to my friend and esteemed colleague stephen pifer to talk about all that. thank you. >> thank you. first of all let me also thank nikolai and ser-gey for organizing this panel and for inviting me. i'm going to break my comments down into three pieces. i would like to agree what sergey and tom said about the overall relationship between the
united states and russia. while it appears to be scratchy but i don't think it is bad as it appears. it is certainly much better than it was in september of 2008 when sergei arrived to take up the position in the aftermath of the russia-georgia conflict which i say the relationship was at the lowest point since the end of the cold war. when you look at those traditional factors that cause disputes or conflicts between state they're really absent from the u.s.-russia relationship. we don't have any idealogical disputes. we're not in any conflict over resources. there are no territorial issues. some in moscow from time to time talk about alaska but so far that is not the official russian position. so those problems are not there but there is still some scratchiness. i think a large part of that is perhaps due to domestic politics both in the russia and the united states. those impose limitations on the relationship and create some issues that complicate the relationship. that is my first set of observations.
the second point, just a couple comments on business where i think one of the unfortunate things and going back to, tom, when you were in moscow and i was working on the national security council staff, one of the things we wanted do, how can you build the trade an economic relationship between the united states and russia? because it is good not only for the economies of both sides but it is good for the politics the relationship. it provides some ball last. i give you an example. u.s.-chinese relationship is $500 billion a year. when there is sharp dispute between beijing and washington, there are people thinking we have to be careful here because there is real money at stake. if you look at low level of of the economic interaction between russia and the united states we don't have yet that ballast. that is important and unfortunately something that is missing from the relationship. and i think there have been some success stories. certainly think boeing is really a prime example of what the united states and russia can do together but there are too few of those success stories and
part of this issue i think does turn on as russia decides what kind of investment climate it is going to have. when i talk to american businesses i still hear from their perception that russia is too hard after place to do business. as russia can deal with some of those issues, fair court system, and corruption and i think you will see the trade investment increase. let me turn to my assigned topic, arms control. it is appropriate that run the arms control initiative at brookings. sergey and i first met when we were arms controllers. in the 1980s i served in the moscow and you were hire in washington first or second tour with exactly the same portfolio. and if you look at the relationship between washington and moscow over the last 40 years, you're-russia, before that u.s.-soviet there were number of times where arms control was both useful in terms of promoteing a more stable
u.s.-russia strategic relationship but it was also a driver that could produce a broader impact on the relationship and have a positive impact. i think reset's an example where the early success in terms of negotiating a new s.t.a.r.t. treaty had a positive impact on the broader relationship. and i do hope that as perhaps, as tom suggested, that if the sides can cooperate on syria and iran, if that injects more positive momentum in the overall relationship, can we go back and look at arms control as possibly a driver of better and stronger relations. and think there is some opportunities out there. even when the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty is fully implemented in 28 teen the united states and russia will till estimate have by federation of american scientists about 4500 nuclear weapons apiece. that means each of the countries is on order of 15 times larger than the third country. i think there is room for significant reductions.
the russians raise valid issue which is the relationship between offense and defense and that means addressing some differences now between washington and moscow on the question of missile defense. sergei and i had the discussion or debate before. i understand, and i think the russians are correct, certainly there is interrelationship between strategic offense and strategic defense. i would agree at some point as the russian government asked for there should be a treaty regulating missile defense the practical reality that is not possible here now. now that is an american problem. that is an american problem but there is a fix to that at this point i would say if we can't fix that could we do something else? from the perspective that for the foreseeable future the gap between strategic offense and strategic defense is going to be so large, maybe we don't need a treaty. maybe there is another way to go what i'm hoping if we get more experience working together on
syria and iran and that seeps over into other aspects of the relationship there may be prospects for washington and moscow to return to an agenda on arms control where they have some significant successes in the past. and work forward on terms of bilateral reductions trying to take missile defense which is now an issue of contention but if you begin to resolve those problems move back to the idea discussed in 2010 of a cooperative nato-russian missile defense. you could make it an asset for the relationship. perhaps even washington and moscow, i still think they bear primary responsibility to lead on nuclear reductions maybe there is a conversation to be had between the two capitals to engage with other countries britain, france, china how they make some commitments with regards to nuclear arms control. i will stop at that point and back to you nikolai. >> you want to -- you know,
yesterday, a friend of mine presented me with wonderful record which is called three tenors. and they were singing in such synchronicity. i thought whether we can do the same. and with nikolai playing the role of zuben meta i think we're doing fine. i would say that i think both tom and steve have made a lot of interesting arguments that i can easily support and i will start with economy. it is something that we need to address. we are addressing. there is a presidential committee, commission that has 20 plus subgroups that is, that are co-chaired by people on both sides on presidential, on
ministerial level. they are encouraging countries to work together which is good. we're working to improve the investment climate in russia. it is in your best interests of the one of the example of working together is a win-win. by the way yesterday there was a commission held by the prime minister of russia with a number of foreign big companies present including a significant number of americans sitting and discussing with us how to best create the climate that will be inviting more investment. but i would like to say that it's not that bad as sometimes portrayed. i've been spoken to a number of
companies operating in the united states, saying they will see a huge market and they feel comfortable now after a number of years, they understand what are the legal system. they need to be dealing with and the more other companies understand how to operate in russia the better it is for the companies and for russia which is not meant to say that we are somewhat different from other countries. we just entered wto by the way with some assistance of the united states in the final phase of negotiations and that will lead to a trade war and wto regulations is exactly what create an environment that is understandable, known by all investors and trading partners in russia. moreover we're writing the is
negative benefits case first presented to us in the regulations by the wto and e.u. there is normal and trading environment and trading dispute need to be with normal mechanism and for all of us working in the economic field together and i would like to say that the arguments that russia is something unknown and enigma in terms of economic environment is wrong. we are normal country. we are a market economy. we are young market economy. most probably we have yet to further mature is something that we are working on each and every day but by the same token we also would like to see more of the russian government being represented here and working in american environments. some of them are here. some of them are more or less successful but not many russians
in the american market and some of them, both on the russian side an the american side, when you ask them why they are not rushing to these markets that are huge both in russia and the united states, they say, we want to see how political relations will develop, and there is a kind of a vicious circle. some look at political relations as a kind of indication how economic relations can develop and others say, economic relations are not mature enough to substantiate better political relations. all these things go hand in hand and needs to be developed in parallel. we are very much interested in doing so with the u.s. government and before this meeting i looked at the calendar of the meetings before the new year and i found i think a dozen meetings that will be addressed
on both sides on governmental level how to increase chances of these two countries to be more cooperative economically. on arms control, arms control has always been very important dimension of soviet-american and russian-american relations. even as we speak we have a very good agreement that has been implemented to further reduce strategic offensive weapons. but we are going to levels lower and lower, and the lower you go, the more important is the interrelationship between offensive and defensive weapons. and we have to understand how the defensive area is going to develop around russia. for us, it is not clear. and in the absence of that kind of understanding it will be exceedingly difficult to go
further to address the reductions. moreover there are other countries that do possess nuclear weapons. some are in alliance with the united states and we certainly would like first to implement the current agreement. secondly we want others to be part of the dialogue. we need to address the interdependence between different parts of the security relationship, ballistic missile defense included. also outer space. what is going to happen to outer space? how is it going to affect weapons on the ground? how the, appearance in the future of strategic offensive weapons with non-nuclear warhead are going to change the calculations in the strategic realm? we need to not only understand it but we want to have a conversation about that will bring all the elements of these
relationship in more predictable and reliably stable fashion. we are not yet there. one additional thing. it is not exactly harms coal but this agreement -- arms control but this agreement will be enforced together in time together with the agreement on further reductions of strategic offensive weapons. in the united states that kind of agreement is called 123. in russia it is called simply russian-american agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation, something that wasn't available for russia and the united states and, the united states and soviet union for decades. and entered into force two years ago and it opened a huge field of possible cooperation between our two countries both in terms
of supply of uranium you but the way the supply given today the uranium to your country as a result of so-called, aeu, leu agreement expiring this year. for 10 years we were using uranium extracted from nuclear warheads diluted to the energy level to feed your electric system and the head of rush shun atomic energy told me that in terms of the kilowatt produced most probably he is the biggest supplier of the united states of sources of energy from outside of the united states. that is a good agreement. it has proved to be reliably implemented and it's expiring but it doesn't mean that we will stop working together but it
will be a normal, commercial basis. we also see some increasing interaction between our typical research institutions and i hope that in the future we will see more and more interaction on science and technology development because both the united states and russia understand that in the long term we will have to develop new generation of reactors that will be more proliferation resistant, more inherently safe and i would label that kind of cooperation in this particular field, a field as a win-win category as tom alluded to. thank you. >> thank you. when sergey was agreed to be challenged by young experts on international relations and by young experts on u.s.-russia
relations, people who are interested in global world i was very happy because you know, that's what the public is served best. the generation that shaped u.s.-russia relations for many years and this is the result. i don't know, i agree that you are very close to each other in your position and i'm happy for you but i'm very unhappy with the shape of u.s.-russia relations now and i think we have to somehow to get through this and to get new vision or new concept what the relation should be. i agree there is a lot of positive things was done, not because of nature of u.s.-russian relations but people who we have between the two countries like these three gentlemen. i agree boeing had a big success but not because of character of u.s.-russia relations but the vision how boeing could develop.
a lot of things could be done because sergey kislyak is doing his best here. you think what the russian media as you hear about russia. so generally speaking i don't think it's a great situation and i think, i don't know how hope countless for us to change the relations. i hope a new generation will try to challenge it and to take it over and to, in 10, 15 years we'll have no discussion about missile defense, arms control because it is not a discussion after 10 years 20 years after breakup of the soviet union we're still discussing how many missiles we have toward each other. i think it is insulting and this low, very low trade level, it is insulting for two big economies. so we have to do something. that's why i think it's a good for you guys, young people, to think about how you can challenge those three, you know, gentlemen who did the best, it
wouldn't be there. i think the state of u.s.-russia relations would be much worse because i think we didn't change the nature, the struck sure turf relations. we same thing that nixon and brezhnev talked a almost 30 years ago, how many warheads we have, about energy security, about soviet space, neighbors, georgia, ukraine and we did a lot there. what is the new agenda? we have new world. we have a new seven yet union that doesn't exist. we have a new russia. america is moving somewhere, who knows where but what is your agenda? what is strategic -- i'm interested in strategic view of u.s. russia relations. i don't see it. i think action, reaction of each other's steps. do something in the white house. kremlin responded. kremlin said something, this is like two sprinters running in different directions trying to reach each effort or hurt each
other to please each other, i don't know. so my, i'm dissatisfaction with u.s.-russia relations, because there is no strategic vision and i don't know, including myself is it capable to produce a strategic vision and to offer it to great countries, two great societies. probably business for much younger people. but, that is why i want you guys to be here and and now we all have time for your questions. please come over to the microphones. and introduce yourself and ask your questions. please do, but before, while you thinking about your questions i've been moderator and use my right to ask first questions usually as moderator do. to ambassador kislyak, my question is, it seems to me for the after the breakup of seven
yet union, russian policy towards america, correct me if i'm wrong, russian policy toward, i prosed toward america was always reaction what washington does. you look on everything in russian foreign policy it's like they do something we have to react. they did this, you don't invite georgia to nato, we have to react and, the ukraine, they trying to put missile defenses there. they do this in syria. they do this in iran in libya, sorry, in iraq. iran we have to do this and never ever i thought, i could be wrong again but never ever saw any vision of u.s.-russian relations offering by moscow. what can moscow offer not as reaction to american steps but what moscow can offer as a for a while at least for a change a
leading country in bilateral relations? look, now, last year and actually this year russia is a chairman of the g20. next year russia will be the chairman of the g8. year after that the russia will be chairman of "brics." before that, the russia was chairman of the pacific summit meeting. four years russia was basically shaping global agenda and do we have it? i don't think so. again, under america and state department agenda. you guys mentioned all the items. basically what united states can offer. i'm not arguing that it is not good to offer but that is what russia has on the table. can russia bring something to the table? can the table be turned? will russia be more proactive in global affairs? thank you that is my first question. >> thank you, nikolai. first of all i like the idea of challenging the others and
myself as to what is going to be strategic agenda for russian-american relations. first of all, i do not agree with you that russia didn't offer anything and was just trailing the united states, reacting to whatever they do. first of all, the fresh example, syria, who did propose a partnership -- >> reaction of threat of military attack. >> no, no, this idea was discussed long before long before. . .
partner in p5+1. we also have a number of ideas that are going to be discussed. we did conduct previous successful meeting. but once again, nikolai, you contradict your first argument, everybody is looking for drama in russian american -- >> i am not ambassador. >> what i'm suggesting is we had an agenda that was with the
united states that had the chairman of the organization here before. because a lot of things especially in economics field that needs to be coordinated, it takes years and years to negotiate an end to implement. and i find it very encouraging that we were able to work together while you were the president and we were preparing for, trying to understand each other priorities in the way that it will be reinforcing each other. and i think it is sometimes not appreciate it very much by political specialists. >> thank you. >> secondly, reaction to missile defense yes, we have to re-up. but what a difference with the united states, it's not us who deployed weapons next to the
borders of the united states. it's not us who gravitated to allied countries. so we simply see, see an extension -- and expansion of nato in europe to take over the whole space on its umbrella. and what is developed as providing security environment for the members and not for the others. that means we still watch divided lines but a little bit moving to the east. so it's not as moving the nato. it's nato moving to us. and so for the relations between the russians and nato haven't developed to extend that we will feel very much relaxed about whatever they're doing. however, i would say there are other things that are developing in the relations that are pretty good.
i will tell you that i was the first russian ambassador to present credentials to the secretary-general of nato and i remember how high expectations that the moment was for the development of partnership. it didn't materialize. the description as to why it's part of our discussion if you'd like to have it. >> sure. >> but what i'm suggesting is, it's not us moving towards the united states. it's the united states, and their allies moving towards us. in the same time we did proposed an agreement for european security consult, and we are still looking for interest as response. arrangement that would uphold it all. we do not like security dividing
lines in europe being far from russian borders. so yes sometimes we have to be realistic about the relationships and the environment around us. sometimes we have to take steps to assure our security no matter how the situation is going to develop. >> thank you. we will go to your questions please. while you were thinking of your questions i would ask my question to our american diplomat. 25 years in washington, i hear one thing, time after time, talk about u.s.-russia relations and global role. it's like constant talking. and you american expert, american diplomat or american politician talking about russia, it's usually we don't know what
these guys are going to do. we have no idea. we have no idea what to do with russia. we have no idea what to do with putin. we have no idea, like what the outcome of this or that project will be. and it seems to me very weird because i know there are so many things we don't know about other countries. when it comes to russia, seems like russia has no clue what to do. it's very strange. sergey was outspoken and direct. you can talk to your friend. you can go to talk to everybody. i-beam oscar is an easy place to go know. i don't think putin is a very difficult guy to understand this concept and his vision. it's very clear. i don't think -- so what the problem? why can't america develop
strategic relation with russia? not left to right. not to be -- it's like improvisation after improvisation. soviet union is a predictable country that was stable american policy. there's no policies i don't feel towards russia. why? >> i think, nikolai, some of it has to do with the frustration that both sides feel indian with the daily flow of -- not stepping back. some of it has to do with the failure to in effect go back to some of the major objectives. i think that we always thought that russia should be a full member of the international community. we thought that russia should be part of the world economies, and the efforts to get wto and a lot of other things later on.
we look forward to cooperation with russia on a number of areas, the joint contribution we both make to international strategic stability was very much appreciated and very significant. the fact was that over a period of time of course we had different ideas about different issues, and many of them dictated by domestic politics, many of them dictated by the new area events, many of them dictated by the different perception of what the other side was doing. in my own view is there is no great strategic secret as to what the u.s. would like to see with respect to the future of russia. i just gave you three principles that went back to the early post-communist days. and i don't think that they have radically changed. my feeling is that we could enjoy better communication. we could enjoy a process of fewer surprises.
we could enjoy, perhaps, a process of even more exchanges and travel ban we have before. and we could enjoy the process of what i would call the cold war system. to some extent, suspicion on both sides is unfortunately still there. a number of us as we go around our country, usually the third or fourth question is premised by saying the soviet union acts, and it really means russia but it is still the soviet union. but i can say that there is in russia the counterpart which is nato. and each one in a way kind of stands for a kind of cold war syndrome that still hangs on. each of us has our own system. they create employment.
i don't know that they add to the clarity, celerity, openness and, indeed, positiveness that one to have but that's just -- the russians, of course we know that by definition. but by practice somehow it seems to fall short. in any event i think those are the kind of things that are out there, and mr. putin is a very independent men. i am not sure he is still predictable, at least not in the eyes of the united states. maybe russia is considering president obama the same way. but i'm not sure, in fact, that we are totally at sea with russia as you characterize it, but from time to time we do find moves different, shocking and sometimes helpful as we characterize it.
>> living at a couple comments. i would agree with tom that i think america's understanding approach is not as bleak as you portray it. i can respond to a couple. i think there is a significant overhang from the cold war. as tom said people think of russia, the think of the soviet union. the native issue, when i was the national security staff and we're beginning the process of nato enlargement. at the time we also sought to build a relationship between nato and russia that we hoped would defuse russian anxieties about nato enlargement. and i think in retrospect we underestimate just how hard that was going to be. but is what i would make about nato enlargement, this was not -- is a demand driven, responding to requests from countries in central europe that's all being in nato as part of fully integrated into europe. and my guess is that for a variety of reasons nato enlargement right now is pretty much off the table. in terms of the aspects, i think
that while we still sometimes see this nato-russia confrontation, if you look at the numbers of, i mean, the militaries on nato site are all going down pretty fast. i was kind of surprised in february last year, the last main american battle tank left europe. so that key element of land power. the united states deploys a zero of those in europe right now. i think to a certain extent we have to move past some of the boogie man of the past. the other point i would make, in both countries there are limitations. i give an american example and russian example. i think unfortunately there still is within the american congress a certain anti-russian bias. and i'll cite a couple of examples. the amendment continues to apply to russia well more than a decade after russia met all the
requirements. we tried, i tried back in 2002-2003 to argue and we could not get congress to move. i think you see that same now. let me say, i think what happened with him was a point. but i think when congress passed that single out russia, when there aren't other kanji whether equal other greater human rights violation, the message was not one of outrage about what happened to him. the message was the american congress wants to take on russia. the flipside is there's a certain amount of anti-american sentiment in russian society. and one of the troubling things i found the last couple of years is i think the kremlin for domestic political reasons has encouraged that idea. that there has been this idea of america as a potential adversary, which complicates relations. it specifically complicates relations in a globally connected world.
is that there may be an intention there to do this for domestic reasons. but people in the white house, and the state department see some of these things being said by the united states, and it doesn't put them in a particularly positive mood about russia. so i think -- i can't say we because i am a lot in the government, but those working on u.s.-russia relations to some extent, their lives are constrained or made mark obligated b by the domestic environs india united states and russia which still displays something like a hangover from the cold war. [inaudible] >> explain itself and never turned itself into politics. this thing for russia is greater i agree. russian culture, russian intelligence. i don't think it's a political american politics. but that's my opinion.
thanks, steven. >> we have used now 90% of the time. >> okay. >> i'm the exhibit director of the russian culture and proud another a lot of american universities speaking here today. my question, for all three of you, you have all worked closely with leaders of the countries. how do you assess the importance of the personal relationship between the men in the kremlin, we all have been there, and the men in the white house? do you think there's a risk in an over reliance on the personal relationship between the leaders to the general institutionalization of a relationship between the countries? thank you. >> who wants to start? >> i think that personal relationships are always important, especially when it comes to the leaders of these two countries.
but i think that what is needed, first and foremost, is the ability of people to be honest and truthful and whatever they say to each other, whatever they do. and to be able to hear each other. and i think that during the last decade we have enjoyed that kind of understanding. even when we have differences between us, that are significant sometimes, the inability of our leaders to talk honestly to the point hasn't changed. >> i would just add that there is no battle between institutionalization and leaders. there is synergy that agree, to which a good institutional relationships help prepare leaders for conversations and talks is very important. and my sense is that the ability
of the institutional relations which are essentially the indices, the conversational or decisions we have together to examine everything from military to help space are all very valuable and very significant and add to the agenda. they cannot overcome obviously trench in crises at the moment, but they can add what i call a continuing base, which can be built upon. and my own feeling is that in some areas, such as steven outlined, perhaps in the middle east, where have a common interest that seemingly fits world needs, where the two of us can stand together on a very difficult problem and help change minds. that's of the highest order. and to me, that helps smooth some of the bumps. where we have only negatives, we
resort to a policy of ankle kicking. and where we are engaged to ankle kicking is then panders to the domestic opposition on each side that steve i think so usefully described. and that's what leaders have to find a way to overcome. if leaders believe that ankle kicking with each other is a key to their domestic success, then we're going to see the relationship misused and sublimated and push down. and there have been times i think when that has been, unfortunately, the way in which people have preceded. so leaders are paramount and very important. they get over, a lot of difficulties and they get at a lot of extra noise in the system if they choose to do so. it is the institutional relationship that produces ideas, agreements, and i think
response to the interest in moving things hopefully forward. >> yet, i would second that. human personal relations have an impact, but first and foremost it's going to drive the state of u.s.-russian relations is national interest, institutional relationships. and certainly a good relationship between the american president and the russian president would help. an example of a kid is by all appearances, i saw this from when i was in use government for the first couple of years, it was a very positive, very warm personal chemistry between george w. bush and vladimir putin. but if you look at the american russian relationship from about 2003-2008, it's one of steady decline. you can have a very positive relationship but it wasn't able to arrest that. and so that leads me to conclude that personal relationships, human beings count. but i wouldn't overestimate.
>> can you hear me? >> yes. >> i'm from the embassy, journey. i was lucky enough to spend a summer -- [inaudible] some of the problems, the lack of progress between in the relationship between russia and the u.s. is that u.s.a. is kind of synonymous with washington, russia, we talk about moscow. what is currently being done to enhance the relations between cities? cities seem to be less burdened by, you know, world politics. they are getting more and more autonomous. is there some kind of local development on that? russia is a lot more than moscow, of course. >> i would say that the u.s. is
simply more than washington as well. and it's normal, these country for a variety of circumstances in different parts of the country's, and we stand to gain by developing more region to region partnerships, ties. it's something that needs to be -- we are trying as a government to encourage that kind of relation. we have seen a number of regional individuals come to the united states, but it's still something that we want to develop significantly more. including the kind of exchanges that you alluded to. students and others who would leap forward with their peers as to what they are and are not. but today, it is a long, long way for us to go before we can
say that we have simple five a little bit al qaeda an example. alaska and russia, eastern russia, we are so close. it is only three kilometers difference. we're the closest neighbor of the united states, except for canada and mexico. but recently we had to have a conference to bring airlines together to convince them to fly to each other. if you want to fly from one place to another today he will have to fly first to tokyo or shanghai, and then on. so the regional relations needs to be encouraged. we are trying to do that. i hope we'll see more responsiveness on this issue on the american side as well. >> let me be frank. i think we have perhaps instituted many more exchanges from the u.s. side.
they can't work without cooperation from russia. but i think that this was very much the idea beginning in the late 1980s that carried on, but even before that. when i was ambassador in russia, though the russian fulbright students and then others who were parts of exchange, including jim billington, very long and successful change program which reaches out all over russia and brings russians here in and americans to russia, they all organize their own alumni organization. things took off and have been moving. none of it has been perfect. i think that these have in large measure been either supported or carried out through ngos. we've seen the recent russian crackdown. i can only call it that, on ngos and the stigmatization of ngos as kind of foreign agents, as a real impediment i think being able to carry this forward. i do think it represented cooperation. i hope it represents only a kind
of short phase in u.s.-russian relationships. and i hope we will find a way to move it ahead. because i think that it is, as you pointed out from your experience obviously, that it is those kinds of human relationships and something i mentioned earlier in response to a question as being very important. >> brief answer. >> there are moderators here. >> i would just like -- there is a lot of potential for these sorts of exchanges that go to areas outside of washington and moscow, help break down some of the stereotypes that still linger in both countries. and i was distressed to hear from circuit a couple years ago that there is now no longer direct air service between anchorage and hong kong because of the alaskan airlines have three times a week directly,
back to the 1990s, and no more of that. that's unfortunate. [inaudible] >> i guess it was in 1996 or 97 i had a colleague who left the u.s. government and got invited to a conference up in anchorage. he called and he said, you have no idea what's going on between alaska and the russian parties. he said we annoyed in washington where, where at the regional level they have set up lots of things in cultural terms, and business -- business terms and educational terms. somehow we've got to figure out a way to great and the pilot were those contacts prosper in a way the two governments in washington and moscow a longer contract the interactions. that's what i think will begin to change how these two countries look at one another. >> yes, i would just like to respond to something to say about that. first, you are talking about
times where they were better condition to invite american get. it was done -- >> to the white house. >> invite russians here and it was done specifically and not necessarily ngos money, political instrument. current situation has changed. there are a number of programs that we are not -- [inaudible] there are a number of programs that are of other governments and we're expanding on. also we have a number of private initiatives as well as a wonderful program run by his young professionals they give them the opportunity to work there, to live there, together with families and meet with
these people from time to time. it's very interesting program. i hope it's going to be expanded. but on the argument of the ngos, i would disagree. there is a policy to make it more transparent as to whose agenda, when it comes to political discourse in russia. ngos are -- [inaudible] certainly can easily compare what we have introduced. transparency, that if you are doing things in political life in russia, you need to say, unique to be transparent and people need to understand that, what are the agenda, whose agenda you are pursuing. so there is no credit that offers more transparency.
you might wish to look into your situation and look at the russian ngos that are working here. we also comply with your legislation. that is tough because you have a number of prohibitions for foreign ngos to participate in activities in connection with elections. so we have yet to compare whose system is more open yours or ours on this particular situation. >> we can't hear you. >> i am from the eurasia group. my question is about, actually two separate but related questions. the first is about security cooperation, and you mentioned exercises over the pacific that we are targeting terrorism. and ambassador pickering, you
mentioned sort of in a more negative light each country potentially obstructing clear communication between the two countries. in the aftermath of the bombing in boston, there was a lot of outrage on the russian side to the americans saying -- outreach -- singh would have cooperation in this state. and then yesterday there was a bombing. in the lead up to the sochi olympics, what is the state of security cooperation between russia and american forces? has there been progress since boston? and is there real communications that will make american companies who will be in sochi more comfortable that there won't be a terrorist attack there? and finally, my second question.
what real sort of granular achievements do you hope will come about in a relationship as a result of the sochi olympics? >> as opposed to sort of broad, broad, broad positives. >> thank you. first of all, as to the achievements of sochi, we are determined to win las. [laughter] secondly, this environment that will certainly be eliminating. on the security issues in general and in sochi in particular i would say the relationships have been resistant for quite a long period of time. how efficiently they are is not for me to decide or estimate. but i know that on terrorism,
spread of nuclear weapons come especially on terrorism, fighting narco traffic there is a very practical confirmation, not political, not exchanges, that people are working on the particular issues. the reality shows that we can. but it hasn't existed and hopefully it will continue to develop further. sochi people who specialize on security issues. >> bill jones, executive intelligence review. i would just like to mention to ambassador pickering the quote, the quote you had as a tribute to mark twain. and i say that as a native missouri and to give him credit where credit is due. i'd like to ask one of the areas of cooperation of courses of coe traditionally, even during the cold war, was cooperation in
space. latest of course with the space station. the u.s. and russia still remain the preeminent space powers. they are no longer alone, but i think you still consider them preeminent air both of them have problems. russia has their problems with the proton rocket come and there's kind of a lack of vision and the sequestration which is hitting nasa today. but that still remains an area of cooperation. we have a new item on the horizon to be solved, is the asteroid threat. we don't see that too often, but it does occur every now and then and it will continue to occur as we go down the road. and our only ability to deal with this is, in fact, our space capabilities and developing those capabilities. russia has made that the defense against asteroids the prime aspect of their space program, according to state, just the other day from the new head of
-- the u.s. is trying to land a man, or an asteroid after, i don't know what's it going to lead to get but any rate they are aware of the danger. the russians have made a proposal to have a specific program cooperation which they have called strategic defense of the earth in dealing with this question. it seems to me that russia and the u.s. is always cooperated best, over what used to be called the common aims of mankind. and i think this asteroid threat doesn't just threaten our country but the entire earth summit to what's going on in syria because also the common aims of mankind. shouldn't there be some form of elaboration what is it which always gets the publics attention despite the fact we been in space so many years, there's always an interest in this to make that a center of cooperation between russia and the united states for
everybody's sake. >> thank you. that's quite a question. >> the answer is very easy because something -- [inaudible] on several larger points first. we have enjoyed cooperation on the space program. i do not know of any other area of cooperation where cooperation is so tight. it is a daily occurrence. i've visited russian cosmonauts training in houston and space city in russia. it's kind of brotherhood. because they do the same mission. they know what they are tasked to do by the two countries. our interests fully coincide,
fully coordinated. when you have problems with shuttle programs, it wasn't long discussion in the united states whether you can rely on russians or not. so we shared access to space while -- [inaudible] because they knew each other. because they knew that they can easily work and reliably worked together. the level of coordination as to what the two agents can yours and ours are doing, space station is unprecedented. and it's something that they already take for granted. i would say that there is some normalcy, the out of space cooperation is a good indication as to how it needs to be done. when it comes to the ideas to
apply to a problem, it's very popular captures imagination. it's something that the space agency has been doing for quite a while. it's not only yesterday that they came up with this, and i know that we were interested in, and are interested in partnerships with the united states. but we need to understand what is the program is going to be. and russia what are the plans of the united states before we can encourage any. but certainly i believe it is my point of view that we stand to benefit from working together on this. >> i think that space operations are so complex and so expensive and so much in the joint countries interest that make sense to cop -- to cooperate. >> we have four more questions.
tried to keep it short, please. >> american university masters student. until recently for the last 200 or so russia has been like a great power and the superpower, but in 20 years ago there's been a loss with the breakup of the soviet union. how how's that lost diplomatic power -- is there a way to reclaim it and some extent? how has that affected the is? how has that affected the state department? were as 30 years ago they were the priority and now there are one among many. >> so who wants to start? [inaudible] >> first, i would take an issue as to whether we have lost a status of superpower.
however, the whole notion of superpower is something that needs to be a part. i would read to you a summary, a piece of summary of the report by the research service of the u.s. congress that was issued today. it's about russia. what russia presents to the united states. .1, russia is still nuclear superpower. secondly, russia influences significantly the interests of national security of the united states. in europe and in the middle east and asia. russia plays -- that's not me. russia plays a very important role to the point of view of arms control and nonproliferation and fighting terrorism. russia owns natural resources
with a greater range and scope than anybody else, including the united states. and the list continues. i recommend that you read it. >> thirty years ago you wouldn't have had to read that list. we would have all know that. >> all i would say is that i think congressional research service probably has provided a fair and interesting estimate of the situation. i don't think there's any loss of interest in the state department or in the united states. i think there are other countries that we know of, including china, which we discussed here, that are gathering strength as well and are becoming part of the panoply of world powers that we all have to do with. and to some extent that may have diminished the bipolar nature of the cold war relationship in the post-cold war area. i think that we are -- not all
polls are equal, and i don't mean your neighbors. but i mean in fact not all countries are equal but necessarily those that play in the larger, in the larger field are significantly more important. and i think each of us is trying to develop a set of relationships that deals with that. and they are quite a complex web as we go ahead. i don't think that u.s.-russi u.s.-russia-china necessarily any set of individual relationships have gone to the two against one phase that kids at the three year old level in the park are necessarily succumb to. but i think that in many ways these present some very unusual and very unique challenges. i certainly don't dispute the conclusions of the congressional
research service that sergey read-out. read-out. >> i might add a bit of a different perspective. i think as the congressional research service court makes very important issues between the united states is a very important questions on which american and russian interests will intersect and perhaps even sometimes conflict. i do think the nature is different from the relationship between the united states and the soviet union 30 years ago. and part of it reflects changes in russia in the last 20 years after the collapse of the soviet union. part of that reflects the rise of other countries, china, india and such. as a result of this i think if you look at the american presidents agenda, i think the american president probably spends less time thinking about russia than his counterparts back in the 1980s did with regard to the soviet union. >> i study for two years at
st. petersburg state university and in st. petersburg state university an intern at the u.s. embassy in moscow and was glad to hear that everyone is promoting student exchanges because i think there's a lot that i learned there that i definitely would not have gotten by staying here about russia. and my question today is whether or not you think the addition of a group like nato or the eu within u.s.-russia relations might be beneficial to bringing different perspectives to the table and maybe peace negotiations in terms of specifically nuclear negotiations and reduction? or if you think it might just create more problems? >> i think it's complicated. first of all, there are negotiations and negotiations, because we have addressed
weapons of these countries like the ones that le lead to the conclusion of the treaty to reduce them further reduce strategic weapons. treaty that has been successful implement did today. but there are issues with our european colleagues are not only legitimate but very essential part of, and that is security in your. because it's part of the land that is so important to us because russia needs europe. and the united states also is a part of the ocd and the former -- framework of conventional weapons regulation. so the security in europe certainly needs to bring all of us together. there are a number of other issues where we worked together. p5+1, europeans i think i'll it 3+3 because there are three europeans there.
and the rest of us, not europeans your. [inaudible] >> it's about the same as the rest of europe. so there are a number of issues where we can and we do work together, together with the europeans. and i think in many instances like p5+1, officially these negotiations on behalf of all of us. >> i would say negotiations take place because countries willing to participate are prepared to make compromises and have things to offer, as well as things to receive. bringing people into negotiations because they may have different ideas about not a central part of the negotiations is a little bit more than awkward entity can scrape the notion that you are bringing in lawyers for one side or the other to convince the problem.
i think as 30 has pointed out a number of there's we joined together with the europeans and, indeed, others, china, and with respect to iran in the number of other areas where we have multilateral negotiations which are worldwide in scope and we are all there together, all trying to find answers to a set of problems that we move ahead. i think it would be a serious mistake in u.s.-russia bilateral negotiations if this stage was expected for the reduction of strategic offensive vehicles and nuclear weapons. but as steve pifer said, i think sooner rather than later maybe at the next stage, people who hold nuclear weapons but maybe not at the same level that we do need to be part of the process of transparency. and this is an interesting comment on what you were -- what your suggestion is because it takes into an area where they may not yet be able to be part of the compromises, but they need in some ways to be in the
method of thinking and the way in which the process went. and there is the reverse of your point. i think the two big players might have something to help them understand, rather than the other way around. >> i would just add on the process of nuclear reduction, it seems to me that a bilateral u.s.-russian negotiation by definition is going to be easier than if you have china and britain back at the table. at some point the process has duty, multilateral. the point i would disagree with the win. i would argue that you could still be one more u.s.-russian relationship that could bring total u.s. and russian nuclear weapons levels down to 202500 which is seven times larger then what else. then you have to do something with third countries and maybe start with baby steps. get us transparency can was the number of weapons that you have. some data, not disintegrate that
the united states and russia exchange with the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. could you go for this difference it will not ask you to negotiate a reduction or even a legally binding limitation, but could you take on as a unilateral logical commitment that you will not increase the number of your weapons as long as the united states and russia are coming down? i think if you could get to the point, the next that probably has to be more of a multilateral negotiation. >> i would also mention ukraine -- disagreements with russia negotiations. everybody talks about missile defense. your question, please. >> my name is emily smith. i'm from georgetown school of foreign service. can you hear me? i'm interested in the differences in american and russian worldviews and how it impacts our relations. in other words, how we think differently is affecting our engagement and computing to this
drama that was reflected in media. this question is for ambassador kislyak. i was hoping you could tell me what, in your opinion, are key differences in our worldviews and our mentalities, and what can an american of the coal and business actors in power now due to better understand and engage with russian policymakers. thank you. >> that's quite a question, because it requires an hour of -- i will try to be very brief. i remember one conversation with a friend of mine who is american. we were discussing the differences in the world perception that we have that some americans have. i remember telling him that when we discuss in russia what we can do a multilateral formats, the language we use is we in the
united states -- in the united nations will do that and that. we will pursue in the united nations with other countries that end of that initiative. look at the american language. that's the biggest problem for us. because we all have to abide by the same rules. we all are part of the organization and the system that it created, that we created together. and for us what is important that all the relations are developed on equal basis and on the basis of international agreed norms. that is a must to us. >> last question, please. >> my name is -- [inaudible].
my document is in belarus. so yes. i'm organizing several groups here in the city with 55 and people. i'm in social media markets. so i want to start with the idea which our norwegian person brought. he said, like the relationship starts not with the president, not probably with the cities, but i want to continue, make like one step further and basically the american constitution does not start with we the president, we the cities. it starts with we the people. i would disagree with nikolai, nikolai said it's not strategic decisions.
no, might be right but three other speakers talk about people to people relationships, starting with ambassador kislyak, so on and so forth. since i'm organizing this group and pretty good at building relationships, and i happen to teach the marine corps, introduced the russian culture. so personally i train like 16 years height's of the marine corps speak russian. and i would say yes, there is a bias, generally, but basically we are together and we watched movies, and we had russian version, so on and so forth. so i'm getting back to the point.
since i was raised in the soviet union, and actually i met the end of the soviet union when i got a call. economies youth party, i understand the power of russian -- of soviet bureaucracy. may be inherited something from them. for me if i want to, let's say enhance to help his people to people exchanges, not just travels but just through, let's say, right now they could be counseling or like roundtables, business and russia, some support. in terms of, let's say opportunities from the american embassy -- from the russian embassy, i'm sorry. where should they go? to what person.
and what magic words i need is a? because once again if i would just will go to russian cultural standard, they say y. here? so and so forth. no one called us. so what should i do and what should i say in terms of, let's say -- >> kind of like the guidance. if you say advise doing this. >> you know, it's changes need to be well totaled plan and organize. otherwise these are kind of political tourism at best or just waste of time. and i've seen a number of programs during my years here. some of them were more successful, others less so. so first and foremost, we have
to have both sides of interest in these exchanges that understand what is at that they want to focus on. whether they agree as to the most important things that people want, need to see, then, a number of organizational things as to how to get money to finance one of the most difficult issues, how to best organize in order to be able to see what we want. so there is a lot of organizational work. i do not know major awards at all to be set at russian culture center or elsewhere. you need to find partners, russia, belarus, anywhere, that share your interests and want to work with you. think best recipe i have today. >> thank you. i think, you know, two years
after breakup of the soviet union we have a very different world. whether global world. it's very different than it used to be during cold war. relations are quite different. abilities are very different. and i think, you know, choices and the level of danger is why different. and very often we i think don't really understand it. i think one of the biggest problem in u.s.-russian relations is lack of fresh ideas, a lack of breakthrough ideas, lack of like kind of intellectual dead end. because look, we have great experts in u.s.-russian relations, and so i come to the conclusion that the from today,
like these -- cold war mentality. that i think is very depressing conclusion after 20 years of trying to shape u.s.-russian relations. we don't have an agenda in many ways. i think there's definitely, extremely important need for u.s.-russia to cooperate and be strategic allies, if not friends, at least allies. not to count endlessly warheads, you know. it's kind of insulting to both countries not to trust each other. i understand we have -- [inaudible] but i think, you know, we have to do something very intellectually drastic to change the way u.s.-russian relations develop. otherwise it gets boring because everybody brings drama to make
us interested in u.s.-russian relations. so and i think that's task for next-generation and for us, of course, and i think we learned today from the three wise men, experts who woul will give u.s.-russian relations in very decent shape. today, otherwise i believe people like our three speakers, relations would be much poorer. for some reason and russia feel i don't know how in america, america, too, there is demand for kind of -- [inaudible] in public opinion people. we have to fight this i think to have much more open about problems, but much more, sergey said, much more about little success. not high level but on a grassroots level, regional level. a lot of things going on. maybe we don't need a big region
for cooperation on the level, but this will build up and u.s.-russian relationship. i think we have started this conversation. we need a new this strategy. i thought about today and tomorrow. it's about what u.s. and russia will be in 25 years. what the world will be in 25 years. what the danger, where we're going to be. that's what i think for young people is extending important to you will take over american foreign policy in 20 years projected think about that. and i encourage you, you know, to follow these great experts who have appeared in speak, to help you do it and i'm really grateful to the ambassadors to share with you. i hope that you -- thank you very much. [applause]
>> a look inside the u.s. capitol at 10:00 on the east coast the house working on a bill authorizing water resources projects run by the u.s. army corps of engineers. when they were waiting for remarks from house democrats their meeting with ralf and human services secretary kathleen sebelius talking about problems encountered a with the health care website. the secretary agreed to testify as early as next week and according to the house energy and commerce committee the secretary is expected to appear before the committee members next wednesday october 30th.